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Dialectical Journal

Examples of Personal Writing

Tips for Writing Personal Narratives

 

Personal Writing Assignment

While we read Annie Dillard’s autobiography, An American Childhood, we will work independently and in writing workshop groups to write memoirs or narratives. We will look closely at the structure of Dillard’s book and discuss the typical characteristics of an autobiography so we understand an author’s craft when writing memoir. Our writer’s notebooks will hold all of our pre-writing thoughts and ideas, attempts with different writing styles, and various drafts as we work through the writing process. We will also use our writer’s notebooks for dialectical journal entries. Eventually, you will create a "polished piece" of personal writing that you will turn in at the end of the unit. This "polished piece" will go in your portfolio and should include the following:

 

One "polished piece" of personal writing – three pages maximum, double-spaced, 12-point font.

- Evidence of work done on personal piece.

    1. A writing log = At the end of each writers workshop session you attended, write the date and list the specific writing task you worked on during that workshop session on the inside cover of your portfolio. The total list of these entries comprises your writing log.
    2. All drafts connected to your "polished piece."

 

Two of your favorite dialectical journal entries (taken from your notebook and typed).

 

An introduction = The introduction to your portfolio makes some general statements about the artifacts in your portfolio and about your use of writing workshop during the semester. Your introduction also includes a short "biography" of your "polished piece" of personal writing and any comments you’d like to make about the reading and/or dialectical journal entries. This biography should trace your writing process for that piece from original idea to finished product (for example, what inspired you to write this piece? How did you know what to revise? Who responded to your writing-in-progress? Who/What was your editor?). The introduction should be carefully written; it should make me excited about reading your portfolio J

 

During class we will discuss suggestions and tips for writing a personal narrative. Reading as writers, we will study Dillard’s craft as an author and make connections to our own lives. We will also read and analyze various other personal writing examples from different authors to help us develop our own personal writing style. Don’t forget to look back over previous journal entries to spark ideas if you’re having trouble getting started.

 

 Back to Assignments

Dialectical Journal

Examples of Personal Writing

Tips for Writing Personal Narratives